24 October 2014

Is Alibaba really the greatest in e-commerce?

Alibaba Group Holding is often referred to as the largest e-commerce company in the world, but that depends on how you slice the data, says a new publication by yStats.com which ranks the world’s largest e-commerce companies based on official revenues data.

The largest company worldwide in terms of e-commerce revenues generated in 2013 was Amazon.com, the company said, pointing out that Amazon’s US$74 billion sales of products and services is greater than the combined revenues of the other nine ranked companies.

In second place with US$11 billion in sales is Chinese B2C e-commerce merchant JD.com, which went public this year ahead of Alibaba. American retailer Wal-Mart, eBay and German multichannel merchant Otto Group make up the rest of the top 5, making Alibaba no. 6 with US$4 billion of e-commerce revenues excluding wholesale in 2013. 

However, if considering companies that have their business primarily in the marketplace segment, eBay is no. 1 by e-commerce marketplace revenues, which total more than that of Alibaba and Rakuten combined.

In terms of growth, Alibaba is definitely the winner, outpacing all its competitors in the top 10, more than doubling the revenues from retail marketplaces last year. JD.com ranks next with close to +70%. Among the e-commerce marketplace companies in the top ten, Alibaba had by far the largest gross merchandise value.

Alibaba is not in the top 5 if it is just B2C e-commerce revenues which are considered. By this criterion, the ranking is topped by Amazon with over US$60 billion in B2C e-commerce sales, followed by JD.com with over US$10 billion and then by Wal-Mart, the Otto Group and Tesco.